Like the song says,
“You can’t always get what you want,
but if you try sometimes
you get what you need.”
It’s been my experience that life seems to hand you what you need, somehow knowing you won’t get it any other way, and determined that you should have it. A compliment you need to hear. An uninterrupted morning cup of coffee. A child’s progress or achievement. Busy people probably don’t notice little things like this, but the paybacks from life, both large and small, are there if you look for them.
They’re what’s keeping us all going.
Professionally I might be frustrated by my lack of work, of earning potential at present. It’s hard not to contribute to the family in a way anyone can measure… to be this age and still need help is humbling to say the least. It’s been a good while since a paycheck bore my name, and I often feel invisible, undervalued and easily dismissed by the rest of the working world. Nobody cares what I think or listens to a word I say.
Except one person, and that’s life handing me just what I need.
The event that reminded me of this most important of lessons is the portable toilet my husband purchased and proudly demonstrated for our our upcoming camping trip. A whole little self contained unit that will spare me the long walk over bumpy ground in the middle of the night to the outhouse. When asked whatever made him think to look for such a thing, he told me that he just wanted to make the trip better for me.
Now that’s a big time payback.
When I think back to the times before I knew him, I realize I was alone for a reason, though I hated it then. I was so sure I’d never find anyone who would want me… that I’d be the maiden aunt who lived alone with her cats. Now I see that sometimes it’s impossible for you to get what you want… the time isn’t right or you’re just not ready.
Or maybe what you want isn’t at all what you thought it was. It’s usually too late when you figure this out. leaving you stuck physically, mentally, financially… in every way possible. Even then, in all the muck and mire of everyday, life continues to try and give us something of what we need. A close parking space. An unexpected, boss-free workday. No line at the checkout. A half-hearted apology.
No… it’s not what we want, but it’s what we need to keep going. And, in my case, to make camping quite tolerable.